Graphic Designer WorkingCredit: morguefile.comIf you ever have to go see a graphic design company, it would be in your best interest to at least familiarize yourself with a few basic terms of the industry. Not only will this make you feel less stupid, but it will make the whole experience much easier as you will be able to explain what you want a little better. That being said, if there comes a time when you don’t understand what someone is talking about, do not hesitate interrupting them and asking for a more detailed explanation. The first couple of visits with a graphic designer are perhaps the most important vistis you make as they will lay the groundwork for what is it that you want the final product to look like. Be as ready as possible.

Graphic Design Terms

• Binding: The process of joining multiple pages of a printed end product. Several methods exist including adhesives, sewing, stapling and spiral wire.
• Bleed: An image that goes all the way to the edge of a printed page even after it has been trimmed (no white space).
• Calligraphy: The art of hand drawing letters.
• Clip Art: Pre-made artwork that has wide mass appeal. Used as a way to save time and almost certainly is not one of a kind.
• Coated Paper: A mineral substance that is applied to the paper for a stronger, smoother surface.
• Collate: The gathering and ordering of sheets after they are printed.
• Color Correction: The act of adjusting images for proper highlights and shadows, skin tones and overall sharpness.
• Complementary Colors: Any two colors that are directly opposite each other on a color wheel.
• Contrast: Variation of images and words in a printed product.
• Copy: The actual words in a printed product. Also called text.
• Copyright: A form of protection for people who have created an original work (art, story, screenplay, music, etc). It does not protect things like titles, names, slogans, symbols or variations of type. If you’ve just created a painting, wrote a novel or a catchy musical tune, then a copyright is what you’ll need.
• Crop: Marks that tell the printer what portion of the material is to be used.
• Die Cutting: A process in which a metal blade is pushed onto the paper to cut off certain sections of it. Used to make irregular shapes other than square.
• Dots Per Inch (dpi): A measuring system for quality of a printed image. The higher the number (up to 300), the better. The pictures you see in magazines were probably 300dpi. Also known as resolution.
• Editing: The act of double-checking your work for mistakes before turning it into a printing or graphic design company. Also called proofreading.
• Embossing: A process which creates a raised image on the paper. This is done by pressing the paper between two dies.
• Font: A font is made up of all the letters, numbers and symbols that make up a certain kind of look or style. Fonts are usually given a name. The font in which most of this article is written in is called “Georgia.” In the example that follows you have two different fonts or two different kinds of looks. (words / words)
• Hard Copy: An actual printed page, as opposed to information on the computer screen.
• Illustrator: A software program made by Adobe that graphic design companies use to draw logos and other vector artwork.
• Italic: Words that are slanted as if to mimic handwriting.
• JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group): In the simplest terms, this is a photograph. Most of the images of real things on the web are JPEG’s.
• Laminating: Thin films of plastic with adhesive on them that are placed on each side of a paper product for protection against tear, dirt and moisture.
• Layout: A sketch or plan for someone to look at before the final page is printed. This is the point where you make your changes or suggest changes.
• Letterhead: Usually made up of a logo, company name and contact information. Usually place either at the top or bottom of a blank piece of paper.
• Line Art: A drawing with no type of shading or color. Basically just black lines on white paper.
• Monochromatic: A single color or shades of a single color.
• Photoshop: popular photo manipulation software that graphic designers and photographers use to create better images or artwork.
• Point: A unit of measurement used by graphic design companies. Most printed books contain 12 point type. The smaller the number, the harder it is to see the words. A lot of business cards don’t go under a 6 point type.
• Primary Colors: These are a set of three primary colors that when combined, produce a range of other colors. The colors used on the web are red, green and blue and are known as additive colors. Cyan, magenta and yellow are subtractive colors and most often used in printing.
• Secondary Color: A color made by mixing two primary colors (blue + red = magenta, green + red = yellow, blue + green = cyan).
• Stock Photos: Simply put these are pictures or images that designers use to make your project look better and more relevent. Because cheap stock images are abundant on the web, be sure to ask your designer to run them past you before any final decisions are made.
• Thermography: A cheaper alternative to embossing that involves mixing a special powder to the ink. The printed piece is heated and the powder/ink mixture dries to form a raised effect on the paper. Used a lot in printing business cards.
• Trademark: Protects a symbol, word, design or phrase (or a combination of these) that is associated with the goods and services of a person or company. If you have just come up with a name, logo and slogan for a new company, then a trademark is what you’ll want.
• Watermark: A see-through mark that is placed over photos to prevent people from stealing the image. Used a lot on the internet by stock photo companies.
• White Space: Areas of the printed page that contain no images or type; just white space. Proper use of white space can actually make documents look better and less crowded.

Going to a graphic designer to help develop your business doesn't have to be a blind walk in the park. Learn a bit about the process before going and everything will go much smoother. I hope this article helps you and your business aspirations succeed.

Do-It-Yourself with Adobe Photoshop